Woman uses bed sheets to escape fire at senior living complex

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A 78-year-old woman who lived in a Chesapeake senior living complex that caught fire last month said she escaped the flames by tying bed sheets together.

“I’m grateful… Thank the Lord that I’m here today to tell about it,” Agenora Taylor said Thursday.

Taylor was in the middle of it all when lightning sparked the July 15 fire at Chesapeake Crossing that killed three people and forced dozens from their homes off Robert Hall Boulevard. Her 16-year-old granddaughter saw it first.


“She said, ‘It’s a fire!’ so I came out of my bedroom and I opened the door and it was just, oh my gracious, flames, the wood burning…I just closed the door back because I knew there was no way to get out.”

Taylor had to act quickly, now trapped in the bedroom. She gathered up her bed sheets and a curtain.

“I started tying the sheets together and really it was a peace in the house, you know, I didn’t get excited or afraid or anything…When I put it on the bathroom door and I took it on out to the window and just tied everything together like that and so then I told my granddaughter, I said, ‘Come on,’ I said, ‘You’re going to go down first and I’m coming behind you,’” Taylor said.

Taylor said she got out of the window and came down hard, hitting her face, but she and her granddaughter had escaped the flames.

“I just think it was God that helped me because I had so much peace in there. It wasn’t like I was all out of sorts and all of that and I was just doing what I knew to do, and that’s all I know, it was God…There was a peace, a real peace there,” Taylor said.

The property owner said Taylor’s unit was destroyed in the fire. Taylor is living with her daughter until she finds a new place to live.

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